By Doug McRae
Photo: Andrea Kingsley
This report is primarily based on sightings gleaned from eBird, and those reported directly to me. I would be grateful to hear of any interesting sightings. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your observations are very much appreciated. If you are reporting something rare, please provide some details (exact location, ID features noted) or photographs if possible. Finally in order to try and keep the database as accurate as possible, eBird accounts submitted under false names or pseudonyms will not be used unless I know who the actual observer is.
HIGHLIGHTS: Tundra Swan, Surf and Black Scoter, Snowy Owl, Gray Catbird, White-crowned Sparrow
OVERVIEW: We are still suffering from a lack of coverage but it seems that things are pretty quiet out there. The woods in particular seem very quiet, suggesting a lot of birds have left for the winter. Shorebirds have thinned out too, but the wintering waterfowl have picked up considerably. For the second week in a row no warblers were reported.
Tundra Swan: Four were reported on 21 and 24 Nov.
Surf Scoter: Two were seen on 21 Nov.
Black Scoter: Six were off Gull Is. on 21 Nov.
Ruffed Grouse: A male was still drumming on his traditional display log from spring on 21 Nov
Common Loon: Two were seen at Calf Pasture on 21 Nov.
Pied-billed Grebe: A few are still in the marsh with the most recent being one on 23 Nov.
Horned Grebe: One was off the lighthouse on 21 Nov.
Dunlin: The only report was a single bird on Gull Is. on 21 Nov.
Sanderling: Two birds, one with a slight bill deformity, were on Gull Is. on 21 Nov.
Bonaparte’s Gull: Present in small numbers with a high of 8 on 20 Nov.
Great Black-backed Gull: Numbers are picking up as birds from the east coast move inland for winter. The high count was 12 on 21 Nov.
Snowy Owl: A well-marked bird was on High Bluff Is. on 21 Nov.
Merlin: One was seen flying between the islands on 21 Nov.
Eastern Phoebe: A late bird was seen on 20 Nov.
Gray Catbird: A late bird was calling at the Park Store parking lot on 21 Nov.
Swamp Sparrow: One was near the gate on 19 Nov.
White-crowned Sparrow: At least 10 birds, all immatures, were skulking in the weedy pond on Gull Is. on 21 Nov – a very high count for so late in the season.
Please Note: Presqu’ile Provincial Park permits waterfowl hunting from Saturday 25 September until Saturday 18 Dec on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Access to the marsh (other than the Marsh Boardwalk Trail), Calf Pasture Point, Gull Island and High Bluff Island is closed to all park users except registered hunters on those days. Once blinds are placed on Owen Pt. on 15 November, the whole of the Point to the High Bluff Campground will also be closed.
Directions: Presqu’ile Provincial Park is located south of Brighton on the north shore of Lake Ontario. It is well signed from either Hwy. 401 or Cty. Rd. 2.
Doug McRae Shrew Solutions Inc. 240 Presqu’ile Parkway Brighton, Ontario K0K 1H0 613-475-5014 H 613-243-4161 C